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Rich Kassel’s Blog

Mayor Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Quinn Announce Agreement to Quickly Clean NYC Heating Oil

Rich Kassel

Posted July 26, 2010 in Curbing Pollution, Health and the Environment, The Media and the Environment

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Last week, I wrote about NYS Governor David Paterson's signing of a new NYS law to reduce the sulfur content in the most commonly used type of heating oil (so-called No. 2 oil).  Today, NYC Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn announced their intention to pass NYC Intro. 194, which will cut sulfur levels in the No. 4 heating oil used in the city, as well as require all heating oil used in the city to contain 2% biodiesel or renewable fuels. 

According to the city, New Yorkers burn more than one billion gallons of heating oil every year.  Particulate soot pollution from burning this oil comprises 14 percent of the city's particulate pollution - pollution that triggers asthma attacks, cancer, heart attacks and premature deaths.

That's why NRDC has been working closely with the Bloomberg administration and the City Council for the past two years to bring this program to fruition.  In a month that includes dispiriting environmental news from the Gulf of Mexico, from the U.S. Senate, and elsewhere, it is especially gratifying to see this progress here in New York City.

The bottom line:

Combined with Albany's action last week, this announcement is great news for anybody who breathes New York air during heating season.  The plume of black smoke that now comes from many of New York's buildings is on its way to becoming a thing of the past. 

Bravo!

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Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit NRDC.org.

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